New year, New direction?

As we enter not only a new year, but a new decade, it’s natural for people to reflect on achievements and look ahead at how they can build a better future for themselves and their families. A move from employee to business owner is seen by many as the key to that improvement.

Hesitation to take the plunge is, however, understandable. Based on data from Company House, roughly 80% of UK companies fail within their first year[1]. This level of risk can prevent would-be business owners from taking even the first steps to launching their own venture.

Franchise brands, including the wide variety that will be showcased at The British & International Franchise Exhibition this spring, offer much more appealing odds; according to the latest research from the British Franchise Association (bfa), only around 1% of franchises fail per year on to commercial grounds[2].

This is thanks to the ‘business in a box’ a franchise venture follows. Market-tested products and services are underpinned by an established brand. A customer base already exists and its growth is supported by regional, national and even international marketing campaigns. The franchisee simply executes the operational blueprint, supported by head office and a often a network of other franchisees.

These days, franchises extend far beyond fast-food restaurants and coffee bars. An exciting and interesting variety of brands offer people from all walks of life the opportunity to run their own business.

In response to the ageing population, a range of care and companionship franchises have developed, from delivering nutritious meals, to providing specialist in-home care. The education sector has also grown to offer home tutoring franchises or dedicated learning centres.

Food and drink franchises have evolved, with dessert parlours, luxury chocolate shops and mobile gourmet barista coffee vans all creating the chance to own a business in the sector.

Those with a passion for property can take on a sales or letting agency, or provide supporting services to these businesses, all through franchising. Home and property services also provide a gamut of franchises, from garage door installers, to specialist property maintenance services.

There are a variety of resources online where it’s possible to research the different franchises available. It is, however, essential to meet with brands on your shortlist.

Andy Wilkinson attended The British & International Franchise Exhibition before deciding to take out a franchise with kitchen make-over specialists Dream Doors. He comments:

“The benefit of a franchise is that you are working for yourself, but not by yourself. You are part of a bigger team and so I knew it was essential to meet the people who would have an influence on my potential level of success. You have to know you can work with them and there is no substitute for meeting the people behind the brand in person.”

The British & International Franchise Exhibition is the only event of its kind in London to be held in association with the British Franchise Association (bfa) and is at the perfect time of year to kick start plans for franchise ownership in 2020.

With the festive season over and eyes on the year ahead, you can explore more than 100 bfa-accredited brands in an environment designed to bring you all the guidance and support you need to move forward with a franchise.

Katrin Dennehy was looking to leave the teaching profession when she attended the exhibition in 2018. Katrin took advantage of the free career advice on offer and started the day with a one-to-one consultation with an adviser from Personal Career Management. Katrin knew that though she was disheartened with mainstream education, she had a valuable skillset that was transferable to other avenues in the industry. She comments:

“It was actually quite an emotional realisation for me, because I really do love teaching and was sad to leave it. It was just the specific demands of working as a teacher in a school that had become untenable. However, the career’s adviser at the show encouraged me not to dismiss other education options. It turned out to be an important conversation for me.”

Katrin is now enjoying success and a better work-life balance as a proud owner of a franchise with global home tutoring brand Tutor Doctor – one of the brands she met at the same event.

Valuable one-to-one advice on how to access the various financing options is also available at the exhibition, and this knowledge can prove crucial in allowing you to pursue your perfect franchise.

More than 60 talks, panel sessions and workshops will cover everything from the fundamentals of franchising to business growth strategies. There’s also the chance to hear from existing franchisees as they share their experiences in Q&A sessions, plus you can meet franchisees on many of the exhibition stands.

A franchise offers an optimised route to business ownership and The British & International Franchise Exhibition provides an optimised platform to give you the information and support you need to take the steps to owning a franchise in 2020.

Book your free tickets today using promo code FNK1.

[1] Source: www.merchantsavvy.co.uk/uk-sme-data-stats-charts/

[2] Source: bfa NatWest Franchise survey 2018

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